Yanukovych To Give Evidence Today; Pravyi Sektor Will Not Prevent Accused Berkut Officers From Attending Court

November 28, 2016
Pravyi Sektor activists barring the exit of the pre-trial detention facility holding the accused on Friday last week. Photo: Ukrainski Novyny

Ukraine Day 1015: LIVE UPDATES BELOW.

Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.


An Invasion By Any Other Name: The Kremlin’s Dirty War in Ukraine


At Least Six Ukrainian Soldiers Wounded Yesterday, Worst Casualties In Lugansk Region

At least six Ukrainian servicemen were wounded in the Donbass yesterday, officials report.

Colonel Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, told reporters that six Ukrainian soldiers had been wounded by enemy fire – four near the Lugansk village of Zhyoltoye, and two in the Avdeyevka industrial park, northeast of Donetsk.

Yuriy Klimenko, deputy head of the Lugansk Regional Administration claimed, however, that only three servicemen had been wounded near Zhyoltoye, in an exposed area of the front line near the village of Lobachevo, on the opposite side of the Seversky Donets river, but added that two more had been wounded near Novozvanovka and Novoaleksandrovka, in the west of the region.

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2016-11-28 16:11:47

Overall, the Ukrainian military reports 37 attacks by Russia-backed forces yesterday, with the worst shelling seen to the south and west of Donetsk.

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2016-11-28 16:24:09

According to this morning’s ATO Press Center report, 122-mm artillery, mortars and grenade launchers were used in attacks near Talakovka, Shirokino, Gnutovo and Pavlopol, near Mariupol; Stepnoye and Novotroitskoye, nearer Volnovakha; and Maryinka, west of Donetsk.

“In the Donetsk area, Avdeyevka and Luganskoye were fired upon with grenade launchers.

In the Lugansk region, militants shelled positions near Zhyoltoye, Krymskoye, Novoaleksandrovka and Novozvanovka with mortars, grenade launchers and other types of weaponry. In the troop-withdrawal area of Stanitsa Lugnaksaya, fire came from grenade launchers.”

Further fighting was reported on social media today:

— Pierre Vaux
Viktor Yanukovych Gave Evidence Before A Kiev Court Today – Grandstanding And Memory Lapses
Yanukovych Claims Killings On Maidan Were Part Of Plot To Overthrow His Government
Yanukovych Denies Having Been Charged In Court Before
Ukraine’s Prosecutor-General Formally Charges Yanukovych With Treason

Live stream:

Yanukovych Appears In Ukrainian Court Via Video Link From Rostov-On-Don

Moscow Court Orders Ukrainian Journalist Roman Sushchenko Be Held In Custody Until January 30 Next Year

Roman Sushchenko, a Ukrainian journalist detained in Moscow on charges of espionage, is to remain in custody until at least January 30 next year.

Sushchenko, the Paris correspondent for Ukraine’s state-owned Ukrinform news agency, was arrested in Moscow on September 30 and accused by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) of collecting secret information on the activities of the Russian armed forces.

Today his lawyer, Mark Feygin, tweeted that the Lefortovo court had extended Sushchenko’s pre-trial detention until January 30.

Translation: Roman Sushchenko in court familiarizing himself with the case.

— Pierre Vaux

Accused Former Berkut Officers Delivered To Court; Yanukovych Questioning Will Begin At 11:00 GMT

LIGA.net reports that the five former Berkut riot police officers accused of killing protesters during the Maidan revolution have now been delivered to the Svyatoshin district court in Kiev.

Last Friday, activists from Pravyi Sektor barred the authorities from moving the suspects from jail to the court, claiming they feared the men would be released from custody.

This morning, the nationalist party told Interfax-Ukraine that they would not prevent the movement of the suspects, but that their members would be at the court hearing.

LIGA.net reports that the questioning of Viktor Yanukovych, the former Ukrainian president who fled to Russia in February, 2014, at the height of violence against protesters on the Maidan, will begin at 13:00 (11:00 GMT).

— Pierre Vaux

Yanukovych To Give Evidence Today; Pravyi Sektor Will Not Prevent Accused Berkut Officers From Attending Court

Ukraine’s former president, Viktor Yanukovych, who fled at the height of the Maidan revolution in February, 2014, is due to give evidence to a Ukrainian court by video link today.

Yanukovych is to give evidence in the case of five former Berkut riot police officers who are charged with killing protesters in Kiev during the final days of Yanukovych’s government. He has not himself been formally charged with the killings yet.

Last Friday, Yanukovych appeared in a Kiev court via video link from Russia’s Rostov-on-Don, but was unable to be questioned as a witness as the accused men were not present in the court room. 

This was because activists from Ukraine’s nationalist Pravyi Sektor had blockaded the pre-trial detention center where the former Berkut officers were being held, barring them from being delivered to the court room. Pravyi Sektor claimed that there was a chance the court might release the men from custody, something they opposed allowing any risk of.

Today, Pravyi Sektor’s spokesman, Artem Skoropadskyi, told Interfax-Ukraine that the party would not be picketing the Lukyanivske pre-trial detention facility. 

However members of the party intended to travel to the court hearing instead, Skoropadskiy said.

Asked by Interfax-Ukraine whether the activists would be conducting any demonstrations during the proceedings or outside the building, the spokesman replied: “I don’t know yet, we’ll keep an eye on the situation.”

— Pierre Vaux